Christopher Gray looks at Raymond Blanc's interesting piece of advice

I was very surprised, reading The Times on Tuesday, to find my favourite Frenchman Raymond Blanc — everyone else’s favourite, come to that — offering advice that would, if heeded, torpedo the restaurant business across the country.

Writing for his son Olivier’s food app for kids, the newspaper reported, Raymond laid down a few rules for a healthier Britain.

“One glass a day is better than six!” he wrote. (That’s wine he’s on about, though who would have thought to hear a Frenchman say it?) “Again, cook with butter — just use a little and, most important, do not eat after 7 o’clock.”

Come again? No grub after 7!

Let’s forget dinner then. We’ll all treat ourselves to some peculiar version of high tea and then try to work out what to do for the rest of the evening.

Perhaps we should go to bed, enabling us to rise shortly after midnight to live our lives, as a relative of Lytton Strachey did, by the hours of the Indian Raj.

Meanwhile, Raymond will be drastically curtailing the working day of his chefs and waiters at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, for they won’t be needed past the teatime watershed there — nor, indeed, in any other catering establishment.

Tuesday’s Times offered a second surprise a few pages further on in the absence from its birthdays column of the Dean of Christ Church, the Very Rev Christopher Lewis, who was 70 that day (an anniversary properly noted in the Daily Telegraph).

Among the most distinguished men in the worlds of academia and the church, he certainly merited inclusion. Had he modestly asked to be left out?